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Hyper Police Cels 2: All the Rest

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Sakura gets ready to blast a collar
Source: TV
Layers: 1
Sketches: 1
Cel Number: A1
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Key Cel
No Background

Added 5/3/2012
Updated 6/19/2016
Episode 3 (Combination Anxiety), cut 59. During their first confrontation with the tick monster, the two bounty hunters are collaborating to disable the huge and heavily armored outlaw. At the crucial moment, Natsuki does a big jump onto a vulnerable part of the tick’s body and gets ready to stab it with her orihalcon sword. Simultaneously, Sakura does a rapid twisting move to get into position to fire off a shot from her revolver. Sequence number: A1.

This great cel appeared on Mandarake without a lot of fanfare, and I picked it up for the cheap opening bid. The screen cap is pretty close but not exact because I could not get the first image in this cut to freeze. The composition of this opening keyframe is exciting and full of action, and the whole cut is worth watching as an example of good animation. As the fox spirit, full of determination, whirls around to get a stable position from which she can shoot the monster dead, you see her first from above. Then the perspective drops quickly down and to the right, as Sakura quickly twists in the opposite direction, braces, and takes aim. Both her long silver hair and her full brush of fox tails swish around her, making the whirlpool effect of this cut even more intense.

Actually, she’s planning to miss the tick and shoot Natsuki accidentally on purpose, so she can appropriate her powers and complete the last of those eight-and-seven-eighths magical fox tails that are on full display in this cel.


It’s worth taking a good look at the douga, which came with an unusual number of colored-pencil annotations. These are courtesy of a checker, who found a number of places in which the cel was mispainted. Some of these, evidently, were passed over as too insignificant to notice. But one of the strands of Sakura’s swirling hair, just to the left of her open mouth, was carefully painted over on the front of the cel.

More seriously, a gap between two of her fox tails was supposed to be left blank so the background would show through, but this part was incorrectly painted over by the artist. To correct this, the studio actually sliced out this part of the cel with a craft knife, retouched the trace lines with India ink, and then taped a piece of blank acetate onto the reverse side. (The cel plastic noticeably changes the color of the bg, so leaving an open hole would have been immediately obvious to the viewer.)

You can see this trouble spot just to the right of the little curl on the left edge of the cel. Visit the second thumb for a close-up of the back of this part of the cel, and appreciate this odd bit of animation surgery.


The images in this episode are especially inventive and often very beautiful in a moody way. It is no surprise that this episode’s animation director was Takeyuki Yanase, who was also responsible for the lovely and deeply emotional visual feel of Episode 19 (There is No Tomorrow for the Cats?). Overall direction and storyboards were done by Issei Kume, who excelled at action-oriented episodes of this series like Ep. 13 (Cat’s Bell) and Ep. 23 (Sakura Becomes Insane).

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Curator: 60something-sensei
Gallery Created: 8/3/2002
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